Whatever we do this COVID holiday season may — by default, or by design — also affect our future.
What’s important to YOU during the holidays?
- Peace and quiet? (Or, have you had way too much of that already this year?)
- Connection with friends and family? (Such a challenge under quarantine conditions!)
- Traditions? (Some of them may not be possible this year or may need to be modified.)
Here are some things that you will naturally be doing less of this year…or, that you can totally get away with doing less of. Doing LESS of what you usually do might be a relief. It also might pave the way — and free up energy, time, and funds — to do MORE of something else you might enjoy.
Entertaining – OK, this one’s easy. In a pandemic, indoor holiday gatherings are not a good idea, even in small numbers, and even with close family members…unless they already live in your house with you, in which case it’s not called “entertaining”.
“Defaulting” – You know those events you get invited to every year that you don’t really want to attend, but you always say yes? Well, guess what? They aren’t happening this year! If you don’t miss them, maybe it will be easier next year to say, “No thanks.” How to Live and Work by Design, not by Default
Traveling – Yeah, no one’s going anywhere this year. Unless, of course, YOU are going somewhere. I’m not here to judge, but if you are traveling, please do it safely! Here are some CDC tips for you: Travel during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Decorating – It’s up to you — it’s always up to you — but this is your chance to skip decorating altogether if you want to. Or… if it makes you happy, decorate MORE! Decorate as early as you like! But don’t buy anything new, so that you can afford the things on the DO MORE list. And, while you’re at it, you might as well organize your holiday decorations and set aside the things you no longer love and use so you can donate them.
Worrying – I’ll take any opportunity to do less worrying. What about you? This is an opportunity to fix pretty much anything that usually worries you about the holidays by opting out or changing things up. Maybe create a new tradition, and set yourself up for less worrying next year too. Organizing to De-Stress Your Holidays (all of them)
Zooming – If you simply hate Zoom, and all similar video apps (Skype, Facetime, Messenger, etc.), then never mind. But if you haven’t even tried them, that’s a whole ‘nother story. This AARP article may help: How to Use Zoom to Stay Connected During the Coronavirus. I am subject to Zoom-fatigue if there are too many calls, and if they are too long. And there are trade-offs. I dislike out-of-the-blue phone calls, for example, but don’t mind scheduled calls. At least during a phone call, you can doodle while you talk, or gaze out the window, or unload the dishwasher (quietly), without seeming rude. But Zoom is a very handy way to stay connected and see people’s faces once in a while. And it’s not just for business anymore! You can have a Zoom game night, or a Zoom book club meeting, or a Zoom coffee date. I am planning a Zoom Christmas “Brunch” — no cooking! And, for Thanksgiving, my brother is planning to cook a meal and package it up for our family members who live here in town. I will contribute my fresh cranberry-apple-orange relish and help deliver. Then we will all get on Zoom to eat “together” and compare notes on what we’re most thankful for this year. Also, I just learned that Zoom is relaxing its 40-minute time limit on free accounts for the holiday. (Maybe Christmas too?)
Gift Ordering – I understand why everyone’s hating on Amazon these days, but I hope that when the time comes, you will all order my new book on Amazon. (My old book is still available, BTW.) Until then, I L-O-V-E the idea of ordering locally! Ordering what? Everything — groceries, restaurant meals, books, gift certificates, whatever you can imagine. Think of your favorite local gift shop, indie bookstore, or specialty market that you haven’t been inside since everything shut down. Check their website or call them. You might be surprised at what is available online these days that wasn’t before, and where they might be willing to ship or deliver it! Clutter-Free Gift Ideas are still my preference.
Food Delivery – You probably partake of food delivery even if it’s only an occasional pizza, which is about all I could get delivered to my neighborhood pre-pandemic. But now there’s nothing I can’t get! Moreover, did you know you can order a restaurant meal, or groceries, delivered to someone else, even if they live in another state?! Check whatever apps you already have (like Instacart or Shipt for groceries, and Grubhub or Door Dash for restaurants) to see if their service covers your loved one’s area. Or, check the website of your loved one’s favorite local restaurant or grocery store. Don’t forget to add a generous delivery tip! (The default tip is never enough.) Is it expensive? It can be, sure, just like there’s a range of prices at in-person restaurants. But, don’t forget how much money you’re saving on travel, entertaining, decorating, and events this year!
Holiday Cards – Don’t worry, I still believe in No More Holiday Card Guilt. At the same time, though, this year is different. Do you have more time on your hands? Feeling creative? Do you have a stash of unused cards from previous years? Can you think of someone whose day would be brightened by an actual piece of festive snail mail from you? (I think of them as little tiny gifts, both when I send them and when I receive them.) Is there a local shop you’d like to support by ordering cards from them? Did you know that SendOutCards has a free membership where you can send one card at a time? (You can still also take care of your whole list at once if you want.) Don’t worry about the timing or the occasion. (Thankful-for-you card? Missing-you card? Hang-in-there card?) Maybe this will be the year the holiday card tradition will regain popularity because people will appreciate the social contact so much more than usual.
What other activities do you think you might do more of…or less…this year?
Have you thought of any creative ways to celebrate your COVID holidays?
Please leave a comment. I’d love to read it!
Copyright 2020 by Hazel Thornton, Organized for Life.
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